Getting To Know A Draft Pick: Andrew Quarless

To help Packers fans get to know the newest members of the team better, caught up with each of the seven 2010 draft picks for an extended Q&A about their background, both on and off the field. The interviews are being posted as a weekly series, continuing today with fifth-round selection Andrew Quarless of Penn State.


Where is your hometown, and what is the most interesting thing about it?
My hometown is Uniondale, which is in Long Island, N.Y. It is right outside New York City, so you are right next to the city.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I usually say my own prayer. I usually listen to slow music to calm me down, because sometimes you get too excited and then by the time you get out there you are tired. I just try to calm down mentally and say my prayer.

What has been your greatest accomplishment on the football field?
We played in the Rose Bowl my junior year on the big stage and to be able to get that Big Ten Championship ring was a big accomplishment for my team.

What's the most memorable football game you've ever been a part of, be it Pop Warner, high school or college?
I would definitely say my last game of high school. We lost in the semifinals to a neighboring town and we should have won. We had so much talent and I had a couple of guys from my team go Division I-A and I-AA. New York in general doesn't have a lot of guys going out for football and to lose with that type of lineup was bad. It was pretty much a 0-0 game until the fourth quarter. I scored once, but we missed the extra point. Then they scored and kicked it. Their O-line rolled everybody to the right and had a guy sneak out to the left across the field and he was wide open. We ended up losing by one point.

Who's the most influential coach you've ever played for and why?
I would say Coach (Joe) Paterno. He is a legendary coach and he told me a lot of things about accountability and discipline. He was an old-school guy and a young guy like me came in and didn't really buy into the system. He made me understand his way. He is an old-school guy with his old-school ways. I think that went a long way and it helped me out a lot.

Who's the most famous athlete you've ever met in person? When and where did you meet them?
I have met and like Keyshawn Johnson. I met him in New York and he has his own design show. I was in a club in New York with my uncle. I guess my uncle knew him and he introduced him to me. It was more of a lounge and we were able to talk a little bit. That was during my junior year and he gave me a couple of pointers and that was fun. He told me that going into my senior year it means a lot to get good film and play hard. It's about the film, a lot. He told me not to take plays off and whatever you put on film, make it gold.

When was the first time you set foot in the city of Green Bay, and what was your first impression?
It was actually my rookie minicamp. Coming from New York, the first thing I was looking for was a skyline when I was landing. I didn't see any skyline and I was thinking, "Where is the city?" It reminded me a lot of Penn State, which was in a college town. I don't think I'll have a problem adjusting.

Prior to being drafted by the Packers, had you ever been to Lambeau Field?
No. When I was here for rookie minicamp they took us upstairs to the presidential suite and it was amazing to see the stadium. It got me real anxious to see the stadium and get ready to go.

Who is the most interesting person in your family?
I would have to say my cousin who is a little bit older than me who is an aspiring musician. He is real good, and he's working with a couple people now to get his name out there. I think it is interesting to have another guy whose name will be in the lights. He's real good. His name is Sticky Green.

Outside of anything in sports, what's your proudest accomplishment in life?
I definitely have to say graduating from college. Coming in as a freshman I did real bad my first semester, real bad. I was able to bounce back and graduate in three-and-a-half years.

What did you major in? Was there any particular reason you chose that field?
Telecommunications. I actually like audio. I took a couple of classes where I got to work in the audio studio and also in the television studio. Just working with computers and stuff like that intrigues me.

What do you think will be the toughest part about your first NFL training camp?
I think just learning the plays. When you don't know the plays, in and out, you are a little hesitant. When you know the plays by heart you are able to play at that fast speed and aren't thinking, you are reacting. I think that is going to be the hardest thing for me. Once you learn it, then you'll be able to react.

When you were a kid, did you dream of growing up to be a football player, or did you dream of something else?
I played every sport when I was a kid -- baseball, basketball and football. I was speaking with my mom the other day and she actually told me that I told her when I was three years old I was going to be a famous sports player one day. I first thought it was basketball. I was a basketball guy. But coming into high school I chose football and said I am going to take this all the way. It was more of an active, physical game. Baseball was way too slow and basketball was cool, but football you are able to hit people and not get in trouble for it, in a sense. It is a physical game that I enjoy.

At what point were you sure you were going to be in the NFL someday?
I think in college coming in as a freshman and looking up to the seniors and watching how they worked, seeing how they approached offseason and everything they did. I just tried to mirror them as I got older. Going into my senior year, looking back, I remembered the way I was working, all the sprints and stuff like that. I felt very confident the way I was working and I worked very hard.

Was there a football player you idolized growing up? Why him?
I wouldn't say I idolized a football player growing up. I think coming into college, Paul Posluszny (former linebacker for Penn State and current linebacker for the Buffalo Bills), watching the way he worked. He laid flat out. They used to call him a machine, like nothing fazed him. Whether it was running sprints, lifting weights, I really was amazed coming out of high school watching the way the older guys worked, especially him. It was amazing to me. That is another thing, I couldn't block him my freshman year. He was so elusive at the linebacker position I couldn't even touch him.

When did you attend your first NFL game, and what do you remember most about it?
For the first time last year I went to an Eagles game. Philadelphia is probably two-and-half hours from my school and that was my first one last year. I remember DeSean Jackson running all over the Kansas City Chiefs. I am a [Michael] Vick fan, so I wanted to go and see him play. It was definitely a great atmosphere and I got real excited because I knew it was coming up for me.

What has been the most exciting part about being a Packer so far?
I think the whole NFL experience, knowing that you are an NFL player. It is a great feeling making your family and neighborhood proud. It is just an amazing feeling. There are fans everywhere. They are very respectful and they love us and we love them back. I think the fans play a big part of it too.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do when you are not playing football?
I play video games. I am a 'Call of Duty' guy. Actually, half of my team back at school is online, so I get to play with them sometimes. Everybody gets their headsets on and we all talk junk and smack to each other. It's an easy way to kill time and stay off your feet.

Are there any guys on the team that you knew from before you joined the Packers?
I met Mike Neal at an all-star game, the East-West Shrine Game. He is a Big Ten guy, but I didn't really know anybody else.

What do you want Packer fans to know about you as a person?
I feel like I came in with a lot of baggage and they were writing a lot of articles about me before I even got here. I just really want to let them know when I first came in that I have learned from my mistakes and I am ready to play hard. All I really want to do is contribute any way I can. I just want them to know that I am going to work hard. With no hard work, there's no results. That's the way I am approaching it. I want them to know I'm a worker, and a nice guy.

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